Communications Adviser James Spearing works for Co-op Insurance but in his spare time he’s been putting his skills to use as part of Levenshulme Square Residents’ Association, cleaning up in his local community. James tells us more.
We moved to Levenshulme in Manchester two and a half years ago and part of what attracted us was that there seemed to be lots going on, so we looked around for things we could get involved with.
Working at a place like Co-op where supporting communities is a massive part of what we stand for did spur me on to do something in my own community.
We stumbled over Levenshulme Square Residents’ Association which had been going for a while. Because my background is in communications my wife mentioned that I “can do posters” and it went from there!
I’ve now got a proper job title which is Publicity Officer so my role is to raise awareness about the great stuff we’re doing like litter picks and street parties. I obviously get my hands dirty too and do my share of collecting rubbish.
The group is usually active doing things like litter picks so we’ll be out on the street with people rather than sat in a meeting – although we do sometimes have meetings too!
You meet all kinds of people as it’s a really diverse neighbourhood, and despite our differences the one thing we have in common is that we care about our community.
It’s also just nice to see streets you walk down every day looking clean and tidy and taking pride in a job well done.
We also organised a street party last summer. People who’d never met each other came together to share food – you could tell that everyone loved it.
In October we were shocked to win a Community Pride award at the Greater Manchester Police Pride of Gorton awards – one of the local Police Community Support Officers nominated us. It was a massive surprise but we were obviously chuffed to win.
Getting involved with the group has made me feel like I’m making a difference to where I live.
Communications Adviser, Insurance